Salleri forest fire dousedAlthough there are theories and assumptions, police and forest officials are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Ramesh Chandra Adhikari
A wildfire in Salleri Forest raging on since Tuesday night was brought under control around 1 pm on Wednesday.
A team from the Nepal Police, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and Dhankuta municipality managed to control the fire.
According to District Police Chief Superintendent Lakshmi Raj Adhikari, it took the authorities more than 12 hours to control the fire. It was very difficult to control the fire due to the presence of pine trees, strong wind and fires flare in the forest.
“We cannot say for sure how many animals, trees and forest land were destroyed by the fire now but approximately more than one hectare of forest land was damaged due to the fire,” said Meghraj Rai, Head of Division Forest Office.
According to Gobind Khatri, a technician with the Forest Guard, who was at the scene of the incident, although the forest officials were hesitant to cut some trees which were over 140 years old at first but realising the risk they cut down several trees to stop the fire from spreding.
Due to the fire the vehicular movement in the Dharan-Dhankuta section of the Koshi highway, were halted for several hours due to the fire.
Although there are theories and assumptions, police and forest officials are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire.
According to Deepak Bhujel, a local of Salleri, forest fire is very common in Salleri area during the dry season. This time there were no casualties or any major destruction but the fire and wind was so aggressive that residents of Saraswati Chowk and Naya Basti area market were scared as hell.
“Forest fires are very common in this area every year, especially in the months of March and April,” said Bhujel.